The Pursuit of Happyness

Mark Twain aka Samuel Longhorne Clemens aka Josh aka, (and this is my personal favourite) Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, was in all possible respects, a Dude. You just need to read one of his novels, or travelogues, or short stories, or letters to find out why 🙂 What’s infinitely interesting though is to go through the man’s bibliography, and look at the manner in which his writing actually evolved through the years, and all the different layers it kept on acquiring.

I don’t think there have been too many other authors with a body of work, as distinct and truly varied as Mark Twain’s. I don’t think there have been too many writers, who started out penning flippant, outrageous prose and ended as a chronicler of their times; sombre, cynical, and faintly disillusioned. And defined happiness as, and I quote, “Happiness ain’t a thing in itself – it’s only a contrast with something that ain’t pleasant“. (Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven)

So, essentially, the greatest humourist of his generation would have us believe that happiness isn’t truly a tangible entity. Moreover, its so inconsequential that it can be defined only by taking recourse to an allied, and an entirely contradictory, concept. And so, the only way you can be happy, is if you ain’t sad. Bit sad, na. Its a little like defining light as the opposite of darkness, you know.

But then again, light isn’t merely the opposite of darkness. Light can also be the absence of darkness. For there to be light, darkness isn’t necessarily the logical precursor.

And neither do you need to be sad, to be in turn, happy. Happyness is a sturdy enough little thing, to be able to stand on its own feet 🙂

Happyness is when you read the likes of Pratchett and Wodehouse. And have a stupid grin plastered across the middle of your face.

Happyness is, and here’s another law school digression, spending some 40 odd straight hours on research paper submissions, and then going to a deserted library, reading Porterhouse Blue, and howling your head off.

Happyness is going to sites like this. And reading posts like this.

And at times, Happyness is about watching a certain guy score a double hundred in an ODI.

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3 comments

  1. Had read this long time back. You know, one of those seriously under-priced, and even more seriously ultra-small-print, Bantam Classics Collected Works versions!

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